Welcome to 2009! Just six short months ago I finally upgraded my basic cable subscription to DirecTV with DVR. I’ve gone bonkers recording TV shows and movies that I’ve never seen. In that onslaught of furious recording I’ve electronically captured a full hard disk worth of 80’s fare. One such classic 80’s film was Say Anything starring John Cusack, Ione Skye and John Mahoney (Fraiser). In the film other familiar faces pop up every now and then. There’s the intoxicating Bebe Neuwirth, Eric Stoltz, Joan Cusack and the boisterous antics of Jeremy Piven. Aptly, the film is directed by emotion expert Cameron Crowe.
On several occasions my wife told me that I reminded her of John Cusack in Say Anything. She said I had a tendency to go on and on while talking, drifting from tangent to tangent, and finally reaching the destination of my ultimate point in the conversation. Thus I was extremely excited to see the 2AM showing of Say Anything while checking the DirecTV guide. I set my recorder, set the program to “keep” so as not to mistakenly delete it, and then reserved a quiet Sunday evening to watch the movie.
I was captivated from the first minute. John Cusack (as Lloyd Dobler) is in rare form, a tribute to the vulnerable, quirky irreverence we’ve come to know and love in such films as Grosse Pointe Blank, America’s Sweethearts, Serendipity and Must Love Dogs. Ione Skye (Diane Court) manifests such a deliciously unattainable classic 80’s beauty that you can’t help but fall in love with her. The supporting cast is as nutty, kooky and loving as you’d expect from an 80’s film.
The Internet Movie Database lists the plot line as, High school senior Lloyd Dobler wants nothing more than to go out with beautiful and intelligent Diane Court. Lloyd attempts to win her heart over the objections of her over-protective father before Diane leaves for a scholarship in England with the tagline, To know Lloyd Dobler is to love Lloyd Dobler. Diane Court is about to know Lloyd Dobler. How freakin’ cute is that?
See Say Anything, for the first time, nearly 25 years after I graduated high school, was like reliving high school all over again. Although I technically reached adolescence in the late 70’s it was in the 80’s that I found my true voice. In the film, Cusack takes Ione Skye out on a friendly date. He has admired her fro afar but the only way to coax the out-of-his-league debutante out on a date is to promise absolute platonicy. Thus he invites her to a school party. It’s the great, thank God high school is over summer jam. This is the time just before friendships and loves are tested by career choices and the issue of attending colleges on opposite coasts. It’s the time when a guy–a good guy–sees his last opportunity get the girl of his dreams slowly fading away…and he goes for it.
Lloyd Dobler goes for it.
Stunned by his off-beat gentlemanly behavior, Diane Court is smitten by Lloyd. Lloyd is impressed, astonished and covetous of Diane’s open relationship with her her father (Mahoney). They test the waters, diligently reveling in their affections in hopes of moving on to the consummation of their relationship. But that is where the IRS steps in. Diane’s father comes under investigation for tax fraud, throwing the youngster’s blossoming relationship ship into a tailspin just before Diane prepares to leave for her Fellowship in England.
If I had to sum up the emotion of the film in one word it would be, real. Everything feels so real in the film. Director Cameron Crowe has a knack for conveying the essence of emotion in a way that his audience can relate. Cusack and Skye appear genuinely in love and in torment. Moreover, the events are dealt with in very real ways. There are no clerical errors causing the IRS investigation, and no knight in shining armor appears to whisk away the damsel in distress. There’s just a boy and a girl, some very cool 80’s music, and a film that will last for generations.
Say Anything – Amazon.com